The feud between the two further intensified on Saturday when Twitter removed verified badge from the handle of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. The verified badge was later restored.
Here is a look at the various points of conflict between the Union government and Twitter in the last few months.
Govt warns Twitter to comply with new IT rules
- A letter issued by the ministry to the social media platform stated that the New Intermediary Guideline Rules have become effective from May 26. After the expiry of the three months given to social media intermediaries for compliance, Twitter is yet to appoint India based Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer.
- The ministry in its letter to Twitter stated that the refusal to comply demonstrates the social media platform’s lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India on its platform.
Twitter removes verified badge from Vice President’s handle, restores
- This comes amid the withdrawal of the verified blue badge by Twitter from the verified accounts of Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and several Sangh functionaries. Twitter had removed the blue badge from the personal Twitter handle of Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu. Although, the official handle of the Vice President of India @VPSecretariat continues to have the blue badge.
Later today, issuing a clarification that since the account was inactive since July 2020, as per Twitter verification policy, the social media platform may remove the blue verified badge and verified status if the account becomes inactive or is incomplete, the badge was restored.
Twitter alleges forced to withhold free speech in India
- On May 27, Twitter had accused the Indian government of “dangerous overreach that is inconsistent with open, democratic principles”, and said that it has been forced to ‘withhold’ (block in India) portions of “legitimate free speech” on its platform over fears around the safety of its employees and threats of financial penalties.
The government, however, shot back at the company, accusing it of deliberately subverting the law of the land and trying to “dictate” its terms even while using “opaque policies” to “arbitrarily” suspend user accounts and delete tweets.
Twitter India office in Delhi raided by cops
- On May 25, Delhi Police personnel went to offices of Twitter India in south Delhi and Gurugram on Monday evening to “serve notice” in connection with their probe into the controversial ‘toolkit’ case.
Twitter marks BJP leader’s tweet ‘manipulated media’
- On May 18, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra tweeted screenshots of what he calls a “Congress toolkit” aimed at discrediting PM Modi and the Centre’s handling of Covid. Several BJP shared the tweet.
Congress alleged that the “toolkit” is fake and forged letterheads were used in the screenshots in circulation. An FIR was filed against BJP members who had shared the documents.
- On May 20, Twitter marked Patra’s tweet as “manipulated media”, also flags author Shefali Vaidya’s post. The next day, tweets from accounts of BJP’s Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Priti Gandhi, Sunil Deohar, Charu Pragya, Kuljeet Singh Chahal also tagged “manipulated”. Government asked Twitter to remove the tag as the “toolkit” case is being investigated.
Twitter founder ‘likes’ tweets supporting protesting farmers
- In February earlier this year, government sources had even objected to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s decision to ‘like’ some of the tweets that had been made in support of the farmers’ protests, saying it “raised questions over the neutrality of the platform.”